What began as an altercation over plastic utensils at an Alabama Waffle House quickly devolved into another disgusting display of police brutality and institutionalized racism. The arrest of Chikesia Clemons, 25, has spawned outrage on the internet as a video of the ordeal has gone viral. The incident comes on the heels of a similar situation, where two black men sitting inside a Philadelphia Starbucks were arrested on trespassing charges for no apparent reason.
As AL.com reports, Clemons asked for plastic utensils when she placed her order at a Waffle House in Saraland on Sunday morning. According to Clemons' mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, her daughter was informed by a female employee that she would be charged an extra 50 cents. Clemons explained she had not been charged for plasticware when ordering from the very same restaurant the night before. The employee canceled the order, and Clemons asked how to get in touch with the manager.
According to Clemons-Howard, that’s when the police were called unbeknownst to her daughter. “They didn't even ask her to leave, she was waiting for them to give her the district manager's card so she could file a complaint on one of the waitresses," said Clemons-Howard. "When they went to go get the card, that's when the police showed up. The officer should've come in and said we need you to leave.”
What followed was a shamefully excessive use of force on behalf of Saraland police. Cell phone video of the arrest captured by Clemons’ friend, Canita Adams, shows officers pulling Clemons off a chair and onto the floor of the Waffle House. Clemons is then manhandled by three officers. Her clothes are pulled down in the altercation, and her breasts are exposed. This all goes down as white restaurant-goers keep eating in the background.
We’ve included the video below, the graphic content of which may be triggering for some.
Clemons was arrested at approximately 2:45 a.m. for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Clemons-Howard said she paid her daughter’s $1,000 bond. Mobile NAACP President David Smith responded to the incident with the following statement: “In light of the current situation in our country—such as the arrest of two young black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop—we felt it was important for our members to get a first-hand account of the incident, which has now gone viral on social media locally and across the country.”
Indeed, the ordeal has garnered national attention, and everyone, including celebrities and prominent media personalities, are taking to social media to voice their disdain.